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Getting Married in The Bahamas - Guide to Bahamas Beach Weddings

Known as a year-round destination, the Bahamas awaits you!  Bride and grooms-to-be and Newlyweds alike, continually flock to this Caribbean paradise.

The more than 700 islands in the Bahamian archipelago (fewer than 30 of which are inhabited) are surrounded by warm, clear waters - ideal for fishing, sailing, and scuba diving.

If it’s the nightlife you’re looking for – look no farther than the Bahamas.  The Bahamas features four large casinos, and numerous clubs – Pure Nightlife and Club Waterloo – to name a few.

The Bahamas have more than their share of great beaches and promise and unforgettable wedding or honeymoon.  Start planning your trip now!

Most Popular Beaches

The Bahamas have more than their share of great beaches.  There's lots of variety, so there's something for every kind of beach fan.  Here are a few:

Abaco - Guana Beach - considered by some guidebooks to be one of the Bahamas' best.  It's a white sand beach, all seven miles of it, and there are lovely palm trees at the edge.  Just what you'd expect in a beautiful tropical beach!

Treasure Cay Beach - boasts the endorsement of National Geographic magazine as a superb beach - one of the best in the world. It's another white sand beach.  The sand is pure and clean, sparkling white, and there are over three miles of beach to enjoy.

Cat Island - North Shore Beach - Five miles of pink sandy beach, with few visitors, make this beach an idea one for the independent traveler who just wants to relax in peace and harmony with the sea. 

Fine beach – Is 12 miles of beach, pink sand, and peace and quiet. 

Harbour Island - Pink Sands Beach - rated as one of the Caribbean's best beaches by Caribbean Travel and Life magazine.  It's about three miles long, and as the name implies, the sands are pink.  Combine that with blue water for a wonderful beach!

Grand Bahama Island - Gold Rock Beach - A white sandy beach that extends for over five miles.

Taino Beach - Close to Freeport, this white sand beach is a great place for you to enjoy the beach with your family or indulge in your favorite water sports.

Exuma - Stocking Island Beach - White sugar sands and very few visitors make this a great beach.  It's in the Exumas Land and Sea Park.

Sandy Cay - Another sugar sand beach of tiny white granules.  You'll find seclusion here, and lots of shells to enjoy, too.

Nassau / New Providence - Love Beach - This is a great beach if you want to go snorkeling.  Book an excursion with a local dive operator, and enjoy acres upon acres of coral and marine life.  The best snorkeling is about a mile from shore.  The beach itself is quiet and secluded.

These are some (but not all) of the best beaches in the Bahamas.  Of course, each beach has something to offer, and there are many other attractive beaches.

Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation (airports, ferries, etc) How to get there - Easy access to the Islands of the Bahamas is a key reason for this tropical playground’s appeal as a year-round vacation destination.  Just a short hop by jet, a pleasant day by cruise ship, or a memorable voyage by private or charter boat, the Bahamas can be reached quickly by air or by sea.

By air - there are approximately 57 airports throughout the Bahamas, including three International airports (Nassau/Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, and the Exumas); 24 of these airports are official ports of entry to the Islands of the Bahamas.

By Sea - there are countless government and private Marinas throughout the Bahamas; 29 of the marinas are official ports of entry to the Islands of the Bahamas.

There are several options to help visitors get around each island in the Bahamas, and hop from island to island.  Visitors must be 21 years old and possess a valid driver's license for all rentals.  Visitors may use their home driver’s license for up to three months and may also apply for an international driver's license.  But remember, when you take to the road, British rules apply, so please keep to the left.

Bicycles are not generally available for rental; however, a few all-inclusive properties have bikes for use by their guests.

Taxi service is available by telephone/hail in the street or at taxi stands conveniently placed at many large hotels.  Although metered rates vary by island, they are reasonable and are fixed by law.

Entry Requirements; passports, visa, etc. - As of 23 January 2007 all persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the USA and Canada, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda are required to present a valid passport or other approved document when entering or re-entering the U.S.

Languages Spoken / official language – The official language of the Bahamas is English.

Currency – The Bahamian dollar is the official currency of the Bahamas.

Tipping – While in the Bahamas, tip according to quality of service.  Bellboys and porters usually receive $1 per bag, while most other servers (waiters, taxis, etc.) receive 15 percent.  Many establishments include the gratuity in their bills.

Taxes – There is no income or corporate tax and no capital gains or inheritance tax in the Bahamas.  To support the tourism industry, customs duties on a number of luxury goods were eliminated in 1990.  The duty-free goods include camera equipment, perfume, jewelry, clocks, watches table linen, leather goods, china, crystal, and certain liquors.

Electricity - 120V 60 Hz

2 parallel flat prongs

Other (immunizations, health issues) – Before visiting the Bahamas, your doctor or health-care provider will determine what you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. 

Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information

Get Married in the Bahamas is a very exciting event!  But there are few things that bride and grooms-to-be need to know:

Both parties must be in the Bahamas at the time of the application.

Persons wishing to be married in the Bahamas may do so after one day, i.e. if a person arrives in the Bahamas on Monday, they may come into the Registrar General Office on Tuesday, obtain a Marriage License (while waiting), and be married on the same day. Essentially a 24 hour waiting period.

If either part has been divorced, the original final decree or a certified copy must be produced.  If either party is widowed, being certified of the deceased spouse must be produced. If either party is unmarried, being a citizen or resident of the U.S., a declaration certifying this fact must be sworn before a U.S. Consul at the American Embassy, Nassau, and the Bahamas.

If either party is unmarried, being a citizen or resident of a country other than the U.S., a declaration certifying this fact must be sworn before a Notary Public or other person authorized to administer oaths in that country and must accompany the application for the marriage License.

The parties must produce some form of government identification which has a photograph attached.  The identification document must have been issued by a Government Office in the country where the parties reside.  The parties must produce evidence of the date of their arrival in the Bahamas, i.e. plane ticket.

Persons wishing to be married in a family Islands (any Island outside of New Providence) can obtain a Marriage License at the Commissioners’ Office on that Island and need not come to Nassau.

No blood test is necessary and here are some of the fees (Bahamian or U.S.) you may expect, though prices vary with reputation and the quality of the service:

Government License Fee: $100
Minister: Weekdays $150; Weekends $175;
Rehearsals/off-island marriages $50 per hour.
Departure Tax: $18.

Bahamas Tourism Office

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
P.O. Box N-3701
Nassau, Bahamas
Tel: 242-302-2000
Fax: 242-302-2098
Toll free: 1-800-Bahamas

Other Travel Telated Sites

Climate Information  & Best Time to Travel

The trade winds that blow almost continually throughout  The Islands of the Bahamas give the islands a warm, agreeable climate which varies little year round.  The most refreshing time is between September and May, when the temperature averages 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit.  The rest of the year is a bit warmer with temperatures ranging between 80 and 85 F.

The Islands of the Bahamas have a temperate climate ranging from 80 and 90 F with high humidity in the summer months to 70 to 80 F in the winter.  Nighttime temperatures are generally cooler by 5-7 degrees.  In the more northerly islands, winter temperatures are approximately 5 degrees lower than the southern islands.  Sea surface temperatures vary between 74 F in February and 84 F in August.

High & Low Season for travel – The most popular months for tourists are in the first quarter, with September offering the best opportunity to avoid the crowds.  Generally, all the destinations follow this monthly pattern with the Out Islands - Bimini, Eleuthera, Abaco, Exuma and all other islands outside of Nassau and Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island - showing even less activity in September and October.

Map of the Bahamas

Map of Bahamas

Local Attractions & Must Do’s

The possibilities are endless when looking for things to do in the Bahamas-

Get married either on the beach, in a church, aboard a yacht, amidst tropical gardens or wearing full scuba gear underwater. 

Sail around the Exumas, an unforgettable park of pristine cays and spectacular reefs, with outstanding marine life.  Dive around the underwater preserve of Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park, swim with sharks off Long Island, explore shipwrecks, or discover the stone ruins off Bimini, said to be the remains of the lost city of Atlantis.

Tee off on the Bahamas' oldest golf course at Cable Beach, or at one of five world-class courses on Grand Bahama Island. Exuma's course was designed by golfer Greg Norman, while the Abaco Club boasts a Scottish links-style course.

Play with bottle-nosed dolphins in waist-high water at Blue Lagoon Island.

Haggle with the stallholders in Nassau's bustling straw market, where local vendors create unique straw goods on the spot, or splash out in the more sophisticated shops of Bay Street.

Go fishing in Bimini, reputed to be the big game fishing capital of the world, or try catching the elusive bonefish in Andros.  Tongue of the Ocean, a 6,000 ft trench stretching 100 miles, is a favorite deep-water spot.

See Columbus' first landing place in the New World near Cockburn Town on San Salvador.

Top 5 Most Popular Hotels

Musha Cay at Copperfield Bay, on its own private island in the quiet Exuma chain of islands in the Bahamas, is perhaps the most luxurious and most private island resort in the world.  Not only is the whole 150-acre island reserved for one party at a time, the neighboring islands have been acquired by Musha Cay’s owner and have been kept totally uninhabited.  Further, the waters around Musha Cay are strictly out of bounds for outsiders.  As a result, Musha Cay’s guests can go several days without seeing or hearing any boats or any other human life. The nearest populated island is over ten miles away.

One&Only Ocean Club is legendary in its reputation for entertaining the world’s elite for more than 45 years.  Here, service is elevated to a fine art form by a gracious staff welcoming you into their colonial plantation home.  Warm and inviting accommodation, and residential-style villas ideal are for families. Dining that is renowned and unforgettable featuring the imaginative cuisine of Chef Jean-George Vongerichten.

A playground of world-class golf, tennis, spa indulgences, and of course, water, One&Only Ocean Club is open year-round.  The elixir of Bahamian life, the spectacular blue waters of the Caribbean are explored with a rich roster of activities – diving, snorkeling, sailing, skiing, windsurfing.  Just relax along the shoreline of a pristine beach.

Located on the quaint Bahamas Out Island of Harbour Island and exuding colonial charm, Pink Sands is a 20-acre haven set by the edge of the famous three-mile pink sand beach.  Designed by Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki -Pink Sands comprises 25 pastel-colored cottages scattered throughout lush tropical grounds.

The cottages are situated to ensure privacy for all guests and are the perfect choice for those desiring a sophisticated but relaxed beach holiday.

Tiamo is a Caribbean beach resort set in the Out Islands of the Bahamas.  Eleven charming, private beachside bungalows, each with a view of the most incredible turquoise blue water of the South Bight of South Andros Island, are surrounded by 125 acres of natural paradise.  A pristine white sand beach, the calm gin-clear water and miles of nature trails are your playground for kayaking, sailing, fishing, snorkeling, exploring or just relaxing.

From relaxed and tropical to contemporary and elegant, every guest room or suite at the Atlantis is designed to indulge you with unique surroundings, stunning views and complete comfort.  No matter what accommodation you choose, there is one benefit beyond all others—full access to all the wonders of Atlantis. 

Only one mythical resort can bring you dining beyond sumptuous.  Atlantis features 22 restaurants and 20 bars and lounges offering everything from gourmet to casual to quick-and-easy favorites.  Savor a mixture of Southwestern cuisine with a Bahamian twist at renowned Chef Bobby Flay’s award-winning Mesa Grill. Explore the truly exotic with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s world-famous Japanese restaurant Nobu.  Taste the elegance of Café Martinique with the exquisite gourmet creations of Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.